As Andy Rooney, the ersatz controversialist on CBS's Sixty Minutes, enquired: "How many million dollars does it look as if you're going to make off the crucifixion of Christ?" Hey, if he's lucky, maybe as many millions as Michael Moore made off all those dead high-school kids with Bowling For Columbine.
Where's a comedic rim shot sound effect when ya need one?
But then it gets better, and since Steyn is echoing my own thoughts, I think it brilliant. :)
It's true that in Europe "passion plays" often provided a rationale for Jew-hatred. But that was at a time when the church was also a projection of state power. What's happening in America is quite the opposite: One reason why Hollywood assumed Mel had laid a $30 million Easter egg was because the elite coastal enclaves who set the cultural agenda haven't a clue about the rest of the country when it comes to religion.
They don't mind Jesus when he's hippy (Godspell) or horny (Terrence McNally's "gay Jesus" play Corpus Christi) but taking the guy seriously is just for fruitcakes.
SO, WHEN metropolitan columnists say Mel's movie makes you want to go Jew-bashing, they're really engaging in a bit of displaced Christian-bashing.
Here's one other shot I particularly enjoyed:
Ever since 9/11, there's been a lame trope beloved of the smart set: Yes, these Muslim fundamentalists may be pretty extreme, but let's not forget all our Christian fundamentalists – the "home-grown Talibans," as The New York Times's Frank Rich called them, in the course of demanding that John Ashcroft, the attorney-general, round them up.
Two years on, if this thesis is going to hold up, these Christians really need to get off their fundamentalist butts and start killing more people.
Critics berating Gibson for lingering on the physical flaying of Jesus would be more persuasive if they weren't all too desperately flogging their own dead horse of fundamentalist moral equivalence.
Read Steyn's entire article here. (Be forewarned, registration is required, and their e-mail verification system is slow. I didn't get the notice until roughly 15 hours later).
It’s evil distorting what’s good. What is more tender and beautiful than a mother and a child? So the Devil takes that and distorts it just a little bit. Instead of a normal mother and child you have an androgynous figure holding a 40-year-old ‘baby’ with hair on his back. It is weird, it is shocking, it’s almost too much — just like turning Jesus over to continue scourging him on his chest is shocking and almost too much, which is the exact moment when this appearance of the Devil and the baby takes place.
That scene had me scratching my head. Now it makes more sense.
UPDATE: Well, Doug is rather prolific it seems. He now has up what I would call an appropriate riposte to yet another leftist attack on Mel Gibson, this time from Anna Quindlen. Do check it out.